We start off this episode with Karen and Gizelle at a local flight school where Karen plans to take flying lessons.  Karen doesn’t plan to waste her empty nest years and needs a new hobby for when daughter Rayvin leaves for school.  Go Karen!  Small planes terrify me to my core, but I applaud her for having this “now it’s my time” attitude.  Karen is excited that her flight instructor is a women.  Or scared.  It’s hard to get a real read on it.  Karen insists on learning how to fly a plane with at least two engines, but usually first timers are taught on single engine planes because they are actually safer.  Gizelle worries that Karen’s breasts may explode in the higher altitude.  #Science.

karen at plane

Hilariously, Karen brought a bottle of holy water with her to splash on the plane because she’s actually terrified of learning to fly.  Do they sell holy water at Whole Foods now, or do you have to order it special?

Gizelle says that she is happy that she and Ashley were able to make up but doesn’t know what Ash was thinking by bringing the women to a whiskey bar in a basement.  Karen credits this poor decision to Ashley’s frontal lobe having just recently come together and vows to take Ash under her wing and show her how to entertain mature women.  My guess is that involves more champagne and less brown liquor.

At the park, Ashley meets up with Katie and her three very young children.  Katie had to miss the whiskey tasting party because she was busy publically calling her boyfriend Andrew out at the magazine party for not putting a ring on it.  Ashley tells her that it actually went really well after everyone had a few shots (not always the way that these things go in Housewives history), and that Gizelle apologized to her for the “THOT” comment.

ashley gossips

Ashley invites Katie to her 27th birthday party which is being held at the same lounge that she met her husband in.  The theme is “Big Kitty” (?) and Katie is excited to have an excuse to wear animal print clothing which seems fair since I doubt there are many opportunities in Potomac to rock leopard.  Ashley admits to having googled the women after she first met them (like you do) and she fangirls about Katie having dated Russell Simmons but is also eager to spill the beans about Robyn.  Turns out, Robyn and Juan are declaring bankruptcy.  How do the other women not know this if a simple google search can supply the details?  Maybe women in Potomac are too polite to dig around for dirt?  I dunno.  But I’m not totally buying Katie’s shocked expression.  Especially since she asks zero follow-up questions.  Maybe Katie’s big gasp has more to do with Ashley sharing it than with the info itself.  I also think Ashley isn’t stupid and probably knows that bringing this up isn’t right, especially since she is new to the group and this is likely a very painful subject for Robyn’s family.   I also highly doubt that MamaBear Karen will approve of this.

charrisse with brynee

Charrisse and her friend Brynee meet up to drink some awesome looking champagne and strawberry beverages, and to talk about Charrisse’s husband Eddie who lives in New Jersey because he is a basketball coach there.  Eddie was in town recently for a game and then as quickly as he arrived, he left; apparently while Charrisse was taking a nap, you know, like an asshole.  So these two are clearly separated and just not going public with it, yes?  Charrisse reminisces about the early years when they had no possessions, but they did have each other.  Now they have a giant house full of things but lost the intimacy and partnership that they once had.  Brynee tells her friend that everyone wants her to be happy and she questions if Charrisse even wants to keep fighting for her marriage.

jamal scarf

Gizelle and her daughters meet up with her ex-husband Jamal.  Gizelle wisely recognizes that Jamal’s cheating wasn’t about her being a bad wife and while she has no interest in a romantic relationship with him now, she still identifies him as her family which is nice to see for her daughter’s sake.  What’s not nice to see, is Jamal’s hideous scarf.  Apparently, Jamal has been working on the front lines of the protests in Baltimore and is a well-known preacher there.  Gizelle is excited about Prince performing at Jamal’s Concert for Peace and their daughters think “Prince” is Prince George, the royal baby.  Kids are dumb.

Karen, Ray, and Rayvin head back to the flight school for Karen’s first lesson.  It’s a good thing she brought her support team, because the school had to change planes on her and not only does this new one not have air conditioning, it also hasn’t been blessed with Karen’s Whole Foods Holy Water.  Why wouldn’t she just carry that around with her at all times?  Maybe she was blessing all of their personal cars and household appliances and ran out.

Karen is excited that her pilot is hot because if things go south, she won’t die next to an uggo.  After her first venture into the clouds, Karen says that flying filled her with a sense of power and I think she picked a perfect hobby for herself.  Her family is adorably supportive.  I’m liking Karen more and more now that we are past that whole framed rules of etiquette nonsense.

Over at Katie’s house, we officially meet May, the kid’s nanny, even though we have seen her in the background multiple times.  Katie loves May’s lesbian energy.  Wha?  Methinks Katie loves May’s lack-of-sexual-interest-in-Andrew energy even more,  Anyhow, Katie, the girls, and May have all moved into Andrew’s townhouse and Katie has call in contractors to start making changes around the place (a door for May’s room and a “girly space” for Katie) while Andrew is out of town WITHOUT TELLING HIM.  Awesome Job Katie.  I’m surprised that Katie would move in with Andrew without that ring on her finger.

At Robyn’s, she makes what looks like breakfast burritos for her kids who immediately reject them out of disgust.  Kids are the worst.  They have no idea that later on when they are adults, they will probably fall in love with the first woman who makes them a breakfast burrito.  Because breakfast burritos are awesome and people who make them for you are the best.  Robyn’s friend/babysitter “Uncle” Gilbert comes over to take care of the kids while she goes to work.  Uncle Gilbert is hot, but doesn’t have that great lesbian energy like May.  Robyn doesn’t want to go to work but she needs the money.  Especially if what Ashley said is true and there’s only $25 in her and Juan’s bank account. Robyn says that she didn’t realize how great she had it when she was an NBA player’s wife.

karen and katie at charrisses

Over at Charrisse’s house, Karen calls and offers to come over and to bring the other women as well to keep her company because the kids are in New Jersey with Eddie.  Charrisse opens a bottle of what looks like pink bubbles, which are my favorite type of bubbles.  Karen comes over at 10pm wearing her “suck me pumps”.  I feel like a producer or someone told Karen to loosen up because she has been a lot more fun and a lot less Miss Minchin in these last two episodes.

gizelle at charrisses

Gizelle asks the girls if they are planning on going to Ashley’s birthday.  They all seem to be excited about getting dressed up in their Big Kitty finest, but then in a totally bizarre non sequitur Katie tells the women that she has sexually dabbled in the lady pool? Katie says that she was young and drunk and just having fun in NYC but she has put that part of her life behind her.  What feels like a producer prompted line, Karen says that she doesn’t care about Katie’s bisexuality and doesn’t have “time to google [her] ass”.  This leads Katie to tell the other women about Ashley’s recent internet activity.  Karen is appropriately horrified.  As I expected, Robyn’s financial issues do not seem to be a secret, they are just politely ignored because that’s what people of class and substance do.  The other women agree that Robyn’s financial business is her own business.   Karen makes a small allowance for Ashley’s behavior by saying that maybe she just doesn’t know any better and Karen still plans to teach Ashley the ropes.  Good.  I like those two in a mentor/mentee relationship.  Although I hope it goes better than Lisa Vanderpump and Brandi’s attempt.

Charrisse says that sometimes people who are in crisis put up a façade.  She’s referencing Robyn’s financial hardship here, but she doesn’t talk about that.  Instead she tells the women that she too has been “faking it”, if you will.  Charrisse says that she doesn’t know what is happening with her marriage and that she and Eddie seem to be at a crossroads.  Gizelle asks if Charrisse knows where she “is with it”, because when Gizelle was getting a divorce, she knew that that was where things were headed and she was resigned to it.  But as Karen points out, Gizelle was only married for 7 years and it’s been almost 18 for Charrisse and Eddie.  Charrisse breaks down and the women comfort her by telling her that they are happy she shared and that they will always be in her corner.  These four women are clearly legitimate friends.  I like it when they do that on these shows.  It feels much more genuine when there are real long-standing relationships between these women.  Ashley is obviously the producer-driven wild card who has been thrown in to stir shit up.

Speaking of Ashley, we come back from a commercial break to find her at the club where she is hosting her Big Kitty birthday bash at.  It was just a short 4 years ago that she was the bartender at this club and Michael was just the part-owner who Ashley set her sights on and eventually conquered.  She warns the DJ that the cougars from Potomac will be coming and she asks if he shaved his whole body like she requested.  He did.  Me-ow!  Side note- isn’t the definition of a cougar a woman who is older but dating a much younger man?  Because none of these women fit that description.  Cougar doesn’t just mean “older than 27”, Ashley.

Andrew comes home from his trip and while he is happy with some of the construction that Katie had done while he was gone, namely the room for awesome lesbian energy May, he is less excited about Katie’s takeover of what was once his home gym.  There is now a sign on the door that says “the Mrs.” and Katie has transformed the room into her personal girly space.  Who is “the Mrs.”?  Is lesbian energy nanny May married?  Because Katie sure as shit is not. She also cleaned out his closet.  Did we get confirmation on what happened to Andrew’s clothes?  Andrew correctly calls this an “aggressive move” but won’t flip out in front of the cameras.  Katie redirects his annoyance with an offer of wine.  Smart move, Katie.  That always works on me.

Katie was apparently hoping for a better reaction from Andrew, but he doesn’t like the furniture, the color, the drapes, or any of it.  But this is Katie’s super-special-girly-place, so it doesn’t really matter what Andrew thinks, right?  Andrew says that maybe she should talk with him about making huge house changes instead of just springing them on him when he is away for a long weekend.  But Katie is a Ball-and-Gala Girl who knows how to charm the pants off of anyone and she leads Andrew upstairs to show him her other special girly place, that he undoubtedly will enjoy much more than that weird sad room.

Side note- all of these women seem to have the exact same little white dog.

While getting ready for Ashley’s Big Kitty Birthday Bash (BKBB, from now on), Gizelle calls Robyn to spill the beans about Ashley and her googling.   Robyn appropriately identifies what Ashley did as “some whack shit right there” (YES) and wonders if she should even go to the party.  Gizelle says that Robyn needs to go to the party so that she can squash this whole thing.

Karen shows up at the BKBB and she says that while Ashley clearly made a mistake with this whole google thing, she still likes her and wants to help her make it in this group.  And then the bartender tells Karen and Ray that they need to start a tab.  WHAT.  Even classless lil ole me is floored by this.  When my broke ass friends throw a party at a bar, I know I’m going to pay for my own drinks.  But if you have Ashley and Michael Darby money, what the fuck are you doing asking your guests to cover their own booze bill?  Unless expressly noted in the invitation that the bar tab would be going to a charity, this is pretty gross.   The disgust and disappointment reads on Karen’s face like a book immediately.  More things to add to the lesson plan when Miss Karen’s School of Framed Etiquette opens for the spring semester!

Katie is the only one wearing animal print.  Charrisse shows up with a friend and jokes that maybe someone will hit on her tonight.  Yeah, that marriage is over.  Robyn shows up clearly pissed off and I don’t blame her.  Katie and Andrew are acting like they are on ecstasy and it’s grossing everyone out.  PDA is for middle school kids.  Robyn and Gizelle are also horrified by the lack of open bar.  This isn’t a snobby rich thing.  They are totally right.  Robyn is not in the partying mood and Gizelle tells her to hash it out with Ashley when she arrives.

Ashley shows up wearing a leopard print bra and Michael is dressed as a lion tamer.  It’s sort of cute.  What’s not cute, is Katie hugging Michael and then telling us in a talking head that she didn’t feel anything impressive happening in his pants.  Um….first of all, it would be really gross for your friend’s husband to have a boner while hugging you and also, lots of men are growers, not show-ers.

Ashley goes up to say hi to Robyn and Gizelle at the bar and Robyn wastes no time in getting down to the issue at hand.  Ashley tries to defend her actions by saying that she googled Robyn because Robyn had been acting standoffish and so Ashley wanted to find out if there was something in her past that was causing her to act this way.  Bullshit.  She googled all of the women.  Robyn says that she’s been hurt by friends before which is why she has her guard up.  Ashley says they will just have to make the effort to get to know each other and Robyn will see that she is a good person with good intentions.  Gizelle cuts through that nonsense and says that Ashley can’t google people, talk about what she found publically, and then expect people to trust that she’s not out to hurt them.  YES.

robyn confronts ashley

Ashley promises that she wasn’t trying to hurt Robyn and Robyn swallows her pride and accepts the apology.  Everyone seems to excuse Ashley’s behavior since she is young.  Whatever.  Ashley just turned 27 which frankly is old enough to know better.  Everyone gathers outside to see Ashley’s new present, which is a white Porsche.  Is this Ashley’s 27th birthday or her Super Sweet 16th?  Either way, this is going to be a big year for Ashley.  She’s opening a restaurant, she wants to start a family, and she’s movin’ on up the social ladder with the shady ladies of Potomac.  Congrats to you, big kitty!

Recap written by Liz